Define the defenseless receiver more clearly. sign now

In week 12 of the 2012 NFL season the San Francisco 49ers played the New Orleans Saints. During the 3rd quarter Marques Colston was on the receiving end of a malicious and illegal hit that resulted in an interception being returned for a touchdown. It wasn’t flagged and the Saints were never able to recover from the play. With the crusade the NFL has led against violent hits in the league, this play appears to be a real head scratcher. Colston was several feet off the ground when a 49ers defensive player intentionally took out Colston’s feet. This upended Colston causing him to dangerously land on his head and twist his neck. This isn’t the first time a hit like this has been delivered in the NFL, but hopefully after attention is brought to this play it will be the last time.So what exactly constitutes an illegal hit on a defenseless receiver? The NFL defines it here at this website:http://nflcommunications.com/2011/12/27/definition-of-a-defenseless-player/The relevant portion of the rule is:It is a foul if a player initiates unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture.(a) Players in a defenseless posture are:(2) A receiver attempting to catch a pass; or who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner. If the receiver/runner is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player.The rule should have applied to the hit on Colston. Can a receiver be any more defenseless than he is when he is several feet off the ground with his back turned to the secondary? The hit was unnecessarily violent. Clearly the rule needs to be specified or the officials need to be better informed. It could have ended the career and quite possibly the ability to walk for one of the most humble and hard working players in the NFL. If you are going to preach safety in the NFL then you have to stop these hits.

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Lidia MedinaBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
Roger Goodell

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